The Bonesetter's Daughter Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Bonesetter's Daughter

This is a story of China in the days before and after the revolution, and an age-old story of the tension between mothers and daughters that is so difficult to define and so easy to identify with. Ruth Young and her mother, LuLing, have a tortured but magnetic relationship, a bond that involves superstitions, ghosts and criticisms that come close to destroying Ruth both as a child and as an adult.
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Her mother's daily fear of the ghost of her mother, who influences her entire life with barely hidden guilt, permeates Ruth's life too. As a child, Ruth learned to survive her mother's vicious attacks by communicating with Precious Auntie, her mother's mother, by writing on a sand table for her mother. It is only when LuLing is old that Ruth learns the truth about her mother's life, what tragedies she endured, what courage she had, and how very much she loves Ruth.

Besides being a story about mothers and daughters, The Bonesetter's Daughter tells about the relationships between different cultures and the richness that comes from sharing those lives.
The review of this Book prepared by petter

In the Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan's latest novel, there is the familiar theme of a stormy mother/daughter relationship,intensified because of the clash of backgrounds. The daughter, Ruth, is brought up in San Francisco of the 50's, while the mother, Liu-Ling. endured the tumultuous convulsions that took place in China before,during and after World War II. The two women reconcile their differences in their joint search for the identity of the mysterious character, "Precious Auntie".
The review of this Book prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson

A Chinese American ghostwriter discovers that her mother has Alzheimers and in the course of caring for her finds out the events in her mother's past which have led to a difficult relationship between the two. The book is set in the US and in China and covers an approximately seventy year span.
The review of this Book prepared by Linda Sourpuss

Chapter Analysis of The Bonesetter's Daughter

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Chinese Other aspects:    -   immigrant story Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Mother (or standin) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Woman's story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Chinese Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   China

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Bonesetter's Daughter

Amy Tan Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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